As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to interrupt our lives, there is one thing that so many remain silent about and that is the state of our youth’s mental health. The rates of positive COVID tests may be going down and the hospitals are seeming a little less occupied, but the aftermath is real. Whether you are 9 or 99, depression, anxiety, and loneliness affects all ages. From canceled church events to canceled ball games, families are continuing to see the impact as the new norms are put in place.
Teenage years are filled with emotional, physical, and intellectual developments. With the effects of the pandemic, our youth also experienced months of virtual learning, social isolation, and cancellations of important events, such as prom, graduation, and entire sports seasons. Some students may have experienced cyberbullying or abuse. Some families were left with financial hardships, which takes a toll on the mental health of all ages. Now expectations are to return to normal. What signs do we need to pay close attention to in our youth?
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Change in eating habits
- Continued desires for social isolation
- Loss of interest in activities and things they used to enjoy
- Desire to remain at home even when the family is going out together
What actions do you need to take if you see this in your youth?
- Continuous dialogue-- talk to your teen about your concerns
- Talk to his or her pediatrician about your concerns and a possible evaluation
- Identify adults who your teen feels comfortable talking to
- Encouragement and positivity
- Seek professional help, if needed
The pandemic has been difficult for people of all ages. Be sure to check in on children and teens as we transition to the “new normal”. Logan County Schools guidance counselors are available to every student.
Article by Amy Hallman, Logan County High School Guidance Counselor